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Friday, October 27, 2017

Weekly Review #iteachmath #MTBoS

Staff Meeting
I love the I have a principal that values professional development.  I love when staff meetings can be mostly PD. I know that it might not be realistic to do this for every staff meeting but this staff meeting felt like spent the whole time on PD. We started off the meeting by watching Barry Schwartz TED talk "Our Loss of Wisdom" . I think my biggest takeway is that we need to challenge our students more. I think this is why I like the concept of DOK and want to learn more how to increase cognitive load in my class. Rigor or difficulty does not make something hard or challenging. I want to create a class where doing the hard is expected. We spent the rest of the staff meeting discussing the book "do hard things" that the whole staff is reading. A concept that came up during the book discussion is that I want to challenge my students to get out of their comfort zone, because that is where learning can happen. Well If I want my students to get out of their comfort zone I better get out of mine. This led me to accept the #ObserveME Challenge.

I also was motivated that we need to provide more opportunities for our students to lead. Combine our service learning and the Boys  Scouts of America(BSA) I really enjoyed my time with BSA and I think completing my Eagle Project help prepare me and gave me opportunity to work on skills that I still use today. I think we could make our seniors do a service project every year. Just like an Eagle Project students have to write a proposal, create a budget, request funds, schedule help, and all the other details that go into creating a service project. Students are now getting their required service learning from each other's serve learning project. At the end of the year students have to go in front of the equivalent of Eagle Scout Board of approval and explain their service learning project and how impacted the community.


Want feedback on my teaching. Need to send out communication on inviting other teachers, parents, and alumni to come in and give me feedback. I have seen this floating around twitter and then I read Robert Kaplinsky's blog post and I accepted the challenge!.

  • -How can I engage my students? Or better yet How can I get my students up and moving for this lesson? Does this lesson or practice need to be done at their seats? Can this lesson be taught in another location?
  • -Are my students learning? What evidence is there? What other techniques should I consider to improve students ability to explain what we are doing in class?

Other questions I think I want feedback on

  • Is math dictating the conversation or is the math serving the conversation? I want to present math a useful tool for the kids not something they just have to do. 
  • Are there opportunities for students to collaborate with each other? 

Lesson Planing
I have been challenged from reading Teach Like a Pirate to develop better lessons. Here are some questions that I try to ask my self or remind myself to do.

  • How can I add passion to this lesson?I blogged about this earlier but I do feel like when I can infuse my own passion into my lesson planning my students are more engaged. 
  • How can I get the students up and moving? So Dance-Dance-Transversal has been a blast to play with my geometry kids. We use it to either start class or transition in between activities. Best moment is when my principal came in and was like I am sure learning is going on here, she wasn't sure because of the music, but then we convinced her to play. Just saying my boss know's how to dance. Also got our director of advancement to come in and play. Want to find more ways to plan practice with movement, scavenger hunts, or maybe use a circuit rotation to practice different skills (just like I do in my PE classes. Not sure why I have never thought about this before)
  • Does this lesson promote collaboration? The question stacks that I have found from @mathequalslove have been great. I want to try to make some more for some other activities. I feel like my freshman class is starting to turn the corner on trying to work together and ask questions to each other. Also did a MARS Math lesson which worked so-so. What I did like about it allowed me to pull out the shower curtain graph and use rope to try to find the hidden treasure. 
     Hard tell but the treasure is at (2,2)
     Question stack activities

     Alwayse, Sometiems, Never Radical Review
  • How can I teach this lesson and keep my students engaged? This led me to play Kahoot! with my students for the first time. It actually worked really well and students where very engaged. Also did some Desmos lessons: Polygraph and some other systems of equations lessons. I felt  the kids responded really well to the activities. I like that the activities make the students think and ask questions and answers open ended questions. It allows me to stop and pause the students, which then I can highlight students answers and we can discuss students thinking. I have been trying to get my students to use Desmos graphing calculator more and the kids where actually using it for another activity the next day, unprompted. They are started to see the value and understand how to use the app. 

Desmos Polygraph Lesson: Some of the student's Response are amazing. Not only where kids engaged but they were learning how to communicate with them with the language of math. 

Students Playing Kahoot!
  • Am I teaching this lesson with my full attention in the class? My students deserve for me to teach in the moment. 
  • Know when to hit the abort button. I have been challenging myself knowing when to be flexible. When do I keep pushing the students or when do I say this plan is not working. I am trying to adopt to the needs of my students. My seniors where struggling with a concept and I have totally threw out the plan I had for class for the week and went a totally different direction. 

Flipgrid Breakthrew
I have really been trying to push the use of Flipgrid in my class. We mostly use it as a time to review when we finish a unit. Well with one class instead of just having them reflect on their learning I showed some motivational clips of people who have failed in life but made something out of it i.e. Michael Jordan being cut from his high school basketball team. I then told the students to share something that they are not good at but add the phrase YET at the end of it. I also told the kids it did not have to be math related. I want them to reflect on math but more important I want them to reflect. I also answered the prompt my self. I shared my response to the kids, which I think motivated them, I hope. I learned that one of my students wants to be a Doctor. I had no idea and I was excited for their goal.

I am also trying to collect videos of around the world of people sharing the importance of reflecting. I am not sure who reads this blog, but if you do, I would love it if you could leave a video response. Click Here. Overall I am trying to help students at our school develop a growth mindset and I am hoping hearing other peoples voices and thoughts will help them develop a growth mindset

Things I want to challenge myself on:

  • Create a classroom twitter. I actually had one of my students who wanted to tweet out a picture of what we where doing in class and they where trying to find my twitter handle. I think it would be fun to have a twitter account that the students can post things to. I saw this photo from @teresagross625 on the #BookCampPD Voxer page that I want to explore more. 

  • I want to answer the question what are my principals? What are ways I can make deposits to my emotional bank? What are things that are taking withdraws out of my emotional bank? 

Random Class Shoots

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